Dems Pressure FDA To Loosen Restrictions On Abortion Pill, Citing ‘Deadly Pandemic’

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Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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Democratic lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee are asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove in-person requirements for abortion medication due to concerns that the coronavirus pandemic poses a health risk, Politico reported Tuesday.

Lawmakers called for acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodstock to “immediately eliminate the medically unnecessary in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone,” one of the two drugs needed for medication abortions, according to a letter obtained by Politico.

The group, which included Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, cited the FDA’s suspension of in-person requirements for a variety of drugs over the course of the pandemic — all while keeping them intact for the abortion drug mifepristone, according to Politico. (RELATED: Biden’s Abortion Agenda Fails To Generate Wide Support, Poll Shows)

“Imposing this requirement in the midst of a deadly pandemic—one that has disproportionately impacted communities of color across the United States—needlessly places patients and providers in harm’s way, and further entrenches longstanding health inequities,” the group said in the letter.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists sued in May 2020 to remove the requirement during the pandemic. After a federal district judge suspended the rule for the remainder of the pandemic, the Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 to reinstate the in-person requirement, Politico reported.

Advocacy groups and some progressive lawmakers have also asked the Biden administration to discard Trump-era rules, such as requiring insurance companies to bill abortion-related expenses separately and the ban on federal funding for abortions, according to Politico.